Prayer Flags

Colourful prayer flags are seen hanging above mountain paths in the Himalayas around Buddhist sites and monasteries. The symbolic colours represent the 5 different elements of air or sky, wind, fire, earth, and water.Design your own version of a prayer flag to spread positive energy, harmony and goodwill.

Prayer Flags

Skill Level

Beginner. Adult supervision needed

Time to Make

2 hours + drying time for paint

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Cut out some canvas squares 20cm x 20cm. You should be able to cut 2 pieces from the width of a canvas roll. Use a large brush to paint the canvas squares in different colours for backgrounds. Brush the
    paint in both directions to cover the textured surface. Leave to dry. If the flags are going to be seen from both sides, paint the reverse then leave to dry.
  2. Paint a couple of extra canvas squares with different coloured stripes to make cut out patterns and borders for the flags. Leave to dry.
  3. Fold over the top 2cm on each canvas square to make rectangular backgrounds for the flags.
  4. The flags can be decorated in different ways:

    * Print a pattern on the canvas using a foam flower stamper. Apply paint with a sponge or finger dabber then press the stamper on to the background.
    * Print messages or words with painted wooden letters. Select the wooden letters for a message, stick a strip of double-sided tape along a wooden craft stick, peel off the backing then lightly stick the letters down as a mirror image (facing backwards), so the message will read the right way round when it’s printed. Look at the message in a mirror to check the letters are correctly positioned. Paint the wooden letters with a sponge dabber then press the message firmly onto the background to make a print. If the printing is too light or any areas are missing, add more paint to the letters then make another print on top.
    * Draw a simple shape on white canvas, (Hamsa hand, dove, lotus), decorate with paint or deco pens lines then cut it out. Glue the design onto the background. Press the edges firmly so the canvas shapes stick down.
    * Cut out coloured strips and borders from the spare pieces of painted canvas then glue onto the background. Press the firmly along the strips so the canvas sticks down.
    * Print patterns with foam finger dabbers. Leave the flags to dry.

  5. Cut a long piece of string to hang the flags. Turn the flags over, squeeze glue under the folded edges then stick them along the string. Press firmly over the fold so the canvas edges stick down.
Prayer Flags Prayer Flags Prayer Flags

Top Tip

Before you start painting, stack the canvas squares together then roll them up so they curl in the opposite direction to help flatten the canvas.



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